My opponent was an unrated young man, for who this was his first tournament. He had beaten Sam B. (1830 rated) convincingly in the previous round, and had solved a tactics puzzle on the wall from last week that I was not able to solve, so I knew I had my work cut out for me.
In the opening, my inexperienced opponent didn’t have a line for the C3 Sicilian, he said after the game, so that he stumbled into an Advanced French variation.
19.Bf5! I had forgotten that I could play 12.Rxe6 here. In fact, I had calculated that this move was winning, but when I got back from the restroom, suddenly the look of the future reply 19…Ne5 set me aback for a minute. Of course, I had seen this line blindfold-style 19.Bf5 Ne5, 20.Bxe6+ Rd7, 21.Qxb7 mate! But for instance, when you let go your train of thought and come back to the board, suddenly 19….Ne5 just _looks_ like a scary reply. Luckily, I stayed the course and played the line that would happen in the future rather than the look of the move in the present. It’s easy to get a little nervous when you feel like you’ve seen the win.
21.Qb3, just after I moved, I saw that the queen trade with 21.Qb4 was stronger, but in this case the game ended faster with queens still on the board.
[Event “August Swiss”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Justin Parker”]
1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nc6 3. d4 e6 4. Nf3 d5 5. e5 cxd4 6. cxd4 Bd7 7. Nc3 Bb4 8. Bd3
f5 9. exf6 gxf6 10. O-O Qe7 11. Re1 Bxc3 12. bxc3 O-O-O 13. Bf4 h5 14. a4 Nh6
15. Qb3 Nf7 16. Rab1 Na5 17. Qxd5 Nc6 18. Qb5 Be8 19. Bf5 Nce5 20. Bxe6+ Kb8
21. Qb3 Ka8 22. dxe5 Rg8 23. exf6 Bxa4 24. fxe7 1-0